Observation, Monitoring, Modelling, Forecasting & Early Warning
Observation, monitoring, modelling, forecasting & early warning
This module provides links to tools and guidance which can be used to observe, monitor, model, forecast and provide early warning of sand and dust storms. These tools help you understand where sand and dust storms may develop and communicate this information to those who may be affected in a clear, comprehensive and timely way. The information in this module should be used in combination with Module 1, Mapping and Monitoring SDS Sources. This will ensure that knowledge about the location of possible sand and dust storm sources is incorporated into the process of understanding where and when sand or dust can become a threat to individuals, the economy or society.
This section provides guidance on methods which can be used, on-site or remotely, to collect observations about the status of possible sources of sand and dust storms and development of SDS. This observation data is important to inform forecasts and provide real time (or near real time) feedback to warning systems. Observations also aid in validating modelling of sand and dust storms. More details on sand and dust storm observation can be found in the SDS Compendium, chapters 9.3.2, 9.3.3, 9.3.4, 9.5.2 and 9.5.3.
This section provides guidance on how to monitor air quality related to the development and movement of sand and dust storms. Monitoring is linked to approaches to observing sand and dust storms (see above) as well as forecasting (see below). More details can be found in the SDS Compendium, chapter 9.3.3.
Modelling provides a way to anticipate where sand and dust storms may develop, how they can be influenced by local or global weather conditions and how changes in climate and other factors may change the nature, extent and severity of sand and dust storms. While modelling can be complicated and technically demanding, it provides valuable insight into what can be expected from sand and dust storms at regional to global scales. More details on sand and dust storm modelling can be found in the SDS Compendium, chapter 9.6.
Forecasting brings together on observations, monitoring and modelling, as well as understanding possible sand and dust storm source areas (Module 1), and enables effective early warning. Guidance on different approaches to forecasting can be found in the SDS Compendium, chapter 9.4.
Early warning plays a critical role in reducing the likelihood that sand and dust storms result in human hardship and economic damage. A comprehensive impact-based, people-centered approach to early warning is an effective way to reduce threats posed by sand and dust storms. This approach is linked to forecasting as described in SDS Compendium Chapter 9.1, while specific guidance on developing an impact-based, people-centered early warning system can be found in SDS Compendium, chapter 10.